I went to a workshop on world building earlier today. It was part of The Stay At Home! Literary Festival and used Zoom as a medium. Last week, I hadn’t heard of Zoom. Now it’s everywhere.
Laura Laakso, author of the urban fantasy crime series Wilde Investigations, talked to us about building your world without overwhelming the reader. Urban fantasy is often set in very near-real worlds with the details tweaked. There’s a lot of pleasure to be had both from the reading and the writing and world building is core to how the characters and plot works.
The workshop was fun, informative and interactive. We looked at different scenarios and discussed how we’d describe that particular world without info-dumping. For example, how do you tell the reader that the rain is poison without saying ‘hey, the rain is poison, don’t go out in it!’?
It wasn’t my first world building workshop but it was my first time on Zoom. Laura talked on the topic, questions came in on chat, and towards the end we had an open Q&A session with camera and voice. It worked really well. I enjoyed Laura’s style – digressions included – and was reminded about the rules of world building.
The Stay At Home! Literary Festival is on until April 11. The programme is a mixture of workshops, book launches, authors and poets; all free, all online.